Wednesday 02 May 2012

Campbell retires from football

Defender reveals he is quitting after more than 500 Premier League appearances

Sol Campbell made 503 appearances during his Premier League career

Premier League legend Sol Campbell has announced his retirement from professional football.

The 37-year-old defender enjoyed a distinguished career and is one of only six players to have appeared more than 500 times in the Premier League, playing 503 times in total.

Campbell began his career at Tottenham Hotspur in the 1992/93 season and quickly established himself as a mainstay of the Spurs defence.

"I’ve loved every minute of it, every second"
- Sol Campbell

England recognition soon followed, with Campbell winning the first of his 73 international caps in 1996.

He captained Spurs to League Cup success in 1999.

The towering centre-back moved across north London in July 2001 to join Arsenal and enjoyed great success at the Gunners.

He won the Premier League and FA Cup double in the 2001/02 season and played 35 times during the season of the 'Invincibles' in 2003/04, in which Arsenal did not lose a single League match.

That Arsenal team eventually put together a record run of 49 Premier League matches unbeaten.

Campbell headed the Gunners in front in the 2006 Champions League final against Barcelona, although Arsenal subsequently lost.

More silverware

He moved to Portsmouth in August 2006, spending three seasons at Fratton Park - including skippering Pompey in their 2008 FA Cup final triumph against Cardiff City.

He then signed a surprise deal with League Two Notts County - but returned to the Premier League with Arsenal in the 2009/10 season, playing 11 times in the top flight after initially returning to the club to train.

Campbell then joined for Newcastle during the following campaign before being released by the Magpies after one season on Tyneside.

"Notching up 500-odd games is fantastic, in one league, it’s brilliant"
- Sol Campbell

Speaking at the recent Football Extravaganza, where members of the Premier League's 500 Club were recognised, Campbell said: "I’m very proud and very lucky at the same time.

"To get to 500 games in any sport is an achievement, but especially in football. I’m just glad that people like me are getting recognised and I’m just happy to be here.

"I’ve loved every minute of it, every second, so it’s been unbelievable for me.

"When you start out you don’t really think about how many games you’re going to play, how many goals you’re going to score, you just want to play football.

"Notching up 500-odd games is fantastic, in one division, in one league, it’s brilliant."

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Key Points

  • Sol Campbell retires from professional football
  • Defender played for Tottenham, Arsenal, Portsmouth and Newcastle
  • Won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups during career